We learned this weekend that the Rangers are not frauds and are indeed pretty good but also that the Rays are actually really really good. Winning a game in this series was likely the expected outcome coming into it and even the matchups held serve.
Let’s face it, the Rangers were at a big disadvantage today. Martin Perez hasn’t been at his 2022 All-Star precision pitching self in a month and was facing a lineup that was perfectly happy to let him try to live an inch off the black and then smack whatever he threw over the plate when he had to. Meanwhile, the Rays were sending potential Cy Young winner Shane McClanahan to the mound, a tough nut to crack even for the league-leading offense.
And yet, despite Perez starting to break from all the early bending, this was a 4-3 game even after the Rays took an early 4-0 lead. Perhaps the most questionable decision was leaving Perez in to face the top of the TB lineup again after a walk to the No. 9 hitter. A Yandy Diaz single and Wander Franco back-breaking dinger later and that was all she wrote for Perez today.
Eventually the Rangers even got the potential tying run up to the plate in the 9th inning but the rally died with the bases loaded. Overall, Texas showed that they can compete and, hey, as always, at least the Astros also lost!
Player of the Game: I’ve been hard on Robbie Grossman (probably because he’s not very good and manager’s pet veterans annoy me) but today he hit a home run, made a nice play in the field, and even threw out a runner attempting to take an extra base. Good on ya, Grossman!
Up Next: The Rangers flee Florida to return home where the Anaheim Angels will be waiting to begin a four-game set beginning on Monday. RHP Dane Dunning is next up for Texas opposite LHP Tyler Anderson for Anaheim.
First pitch in the opener from The Shed is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT and will be aired on BS Southwest.